Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Safe, For Now

The front page of today's WaPo Metro section has a story on the stadium that's not online. It's a shame, because it's great news for the stadium.

Linda Cropp has decided to use the procedure to block any major alterations to the stadium financing bill, as it winds its way back through the Council to correct some technical flaws.

Typos are mine:
Cropp, who was a leading critic of the public investment last fall, said the city must honor its agreement unless costs rise too high at the proposed waterfront location. Her strategy on the amendments is intended to limit the council's ability to derail the stadium. Council members are not permitted to make substantive changes to technical amendments, which are used to correct relatively minor mistakes in wording....

Cropp expressed confidence that the council would approve the amended package. "I have faith in a sensible coucnil," Cropp said.

The article goes on to note that they'll come up for a vote on 11/1, but then need to be approved twice more in a similar fashion to last year's stadium resolution.

The article also has a sidebar detailing the three technical problems. Without boring the snot out of you (too late, huh?):
1) They forgot to write in the reduced amount of the gross receipts tax, putting the full $26 million in instead of the reduced $14 million amount.
2) A guarantee of the $12 million utility tax to ease Wall Street's revenue fears.
3) They created two tax financing districts but revenue incorrectly -- not enough was going towards ballpark funding.

There's a quote from some long-dead politician who said, "you can have the majority if I get to make the rules." As long as Cropp stands by her word, the stadium should make it through the Council, again.

But Cropp keeps hedging her statements with cautions that she'd consider moving the stadium to the much-cheaper RFK site. You never know what she'll spring at the last minute.

So while the seas may appear to be calm and serene, there's a storm warning up ahead. At least we dodged the first one. (Or was it the fifteenth?)

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